Trail Blazers

Melo, Kanter each earn votes for Sixth Man of the Year

Trail Blazers

The NBA announced its Sixth Man of Year award winner on Monday, with Utah's Jordan Clarkson earning the honors this season. 

Clarkson ran away with the competition, earning 407 total points and beating out teammate Joe Ingles, who finished second with 272.

But Utah wasn't the only team with two players in the running, both the Dallas Maverick and Portland Trail Blazers also had a bench duo make the cut. 

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For the Blazers, Future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony and big man Enes Kanter both finished in the top 10, finishing 7th and 10th respectively. 

Anthony averaged 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 69 games this season, 66 of them coming off the bench. He was a go-to scorer for the second unit and more than once this season his scoring and offensive acumen led Portland to victory. Melo earned one second-place vote and five third-place votes.

Kanter was also huge for Blazers this season but in a different way. While Melo was asked to be a bench scorer, Kanter was asked to fill the big shoes left by Jusuf Nurkic while he was out in an injury.

Kanter played in all 72 games this season, starting 35 of them. He averaged 11.2 points and tied a career-high with 11.0 rebounds per game. Kanter's rebound numbers were among the best in the league this season. For his efforts, Kanter earned one second-place and two third-place votes.

 

While a Blazers player didn't win the award this season, having two players earn votes is a testament to how key the Blazer bench has been in its success this season. 

In fact, Kanter and Anthony were both crucial in helping the Blazers take control and win Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the Nuggets on Saturday. 

It was a great season for both those guys and the votes were well earned.